A shortage of salespeople in Silicon Alley and beyond has led to bidding wars, perks, and salaries not seen since the feeding frenzy over Silicon Valley engineers first began in 1999….
Hiring a sales director “is the single biggest challenge that we have faced,” says Dina Kaplan, co-founder of Blip.tv, a video-sharing site. Kaplan says she spends as much as six hours a day searching for the right person. She’s close to a hire – “We’re trying to steal someone from a TV network,” she says – and may offer twice her own salary.
Kaplan still might have trouble. Head-hunters say media companies are paying big bucks to hold on to their salespeople. Salaries plus commission at those firms can stretch beyond $400,000, according to Todd Zangrillo of technology executive search firm Barlow Group. And counteroffers are a given. Zangrillo tells of a candidate at a big TV network making more than $500,000: “He basically said, ‘Don’t approach me unless you have an offer north of $600,000.'”